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EC decides not to record dissent view in poll code violations, overrules Ashok Lavasa

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CEC Sunil Arora and commissioner Sushil Chandra overrule Ashok Lavasa’s view that not recording dissent in model code violations renders minority view meaningless.

New Delhi: The Election Commission Tuesday decided that it will not record the minority view in its orders on violations of the model code of conduct.

The issue had been raised by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa after his dissenting opinions were not recorded in the EC orders passed on speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

In a full commission meeting held Tuesday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra overruled Lavasa’s view that not recording dissent in model code violations renders the minority view meaningless.

Lavasa is learnt to have dissented on Tuesday’s order as well. This time, however, the EC decided that Tuesday’s proceedings will be duly and comprehensively recorded with all three commissioners’ views before formal instructions are issued with regard to the MCC violations.

Also read: Big split in Election Commission as EC Ashok Lavasa stands up against clean chits to Modi

“In the meeting of the EC held today it was inter alia decided that proceedings of the Commission meeting would be drawn including the views of all the EC members,” a note from the EC after the full commission meeting said. “Thereafter, formal instructions to this effect would be issued in consonance with extant laws/rules.”

The meeting itself was convened after Lavasa had stopped attending the Commission’s meetings from 4 May onwards, as his views had not been recorded in the EC orders on the model code violations.

Lavasa weighing options

While no deadline has been set on when the three commissioners would put down their views on paper, sources said that Lavasa would consider further action depending on the argument that the other two commissioners put forward for overruling his decision.

In a letter written to CEC Arora on 16 May, Lavasa had said that he would be exploring other avenues to ensure that the lawful functioning of the EC is followed when it comes to recording dissenting views.

The EC has so far been of the view that model code violation orders, issued by the commission, are not quasi-judicial, and therefore, recording the minority view is not necessary.

In his letter to Arora, however, Lavasa had said that with the EC being a multi-member statutory body, it must record minority views in model code orders since not doing so is in contravention of the convention laid down for multi-body statutory bodies.

As a result of his views not being recorded in EC orders, Lavasa, who dissented with the poll panel’s recent clean chits to Modi and Shah on alleged model code violations, had stopped attending the Commission meeting from 4 May onwards.

Also read: Both EC Lavasa & Justice Chandrachud couldn’t change outcomes, but dissent is dharma


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